Shadow & Flame
By: Mindee Arnett
My Rating: 3/5 Stars???
Genre: High Fantasy
Page Count: 496
Synopsis: From acclaimed author Mindee Arnett comes the thrilling conclusion of the stunningly epic, action-packed, and romantic fantasy adventure about a powerful girl possessed of strange magic, the outcast prince she loves, and the kingdom that has torn them apart.
Kate and Corwin are on the run, desperate for allies in a new world of war among the kingdoms of Rime. As the book opens, Kate suffers a massive loss, one that will shape the struggle for freedom of all wilders and magic folk—that is, if Kate can learn to control her own power.
This review will be spoiler free
Let me start off by saying I love Mindee Arnett, Avalon is one of my absolute favourite scifi books. I also loved Onyx & Ivory (book 1 of this duology), and I was very prepared to love this one too. I did really enjoy this book, it had Mindee’s tell-tale mastery in world building and plot development. However, the very weird thing that prevented me from giving this book a higher rating was the pacing. The book starts basically in the middle of the story, not picking up from where the last one left off at all. There are new characters to get used to as well, and we were only given basically a chapter to get used to this abrupt new setting before there was yet another major time jump. I understand that this is a duology and therefore things needed to be sped up a bit, but as a result I didn’t have any emotional attachment to the new characters and found myself not caring about their fates.
This book could have really benefitted from a book 3 in between this and the first part of the story, or at least a little imbedded recap so that the reader didn’t feel so lost. I even read book 1 right before but I was still lost. The overall story was very good, the characters continued to develop and there were some nice plot twists. The romance was present but definitely a bit more muted than in book one, but I was actually happy we got more time for the action.
Overall, this was an enjoyable duology, it is very high fantasy though so be prepared for that if you want to dive in. It is the type of book you can read over a weekend, getting totally engrossed in the story, so definitely have both books on hand when you start!
What are some of your favourite duologies? let me know in the comments!